The popularity of the Japanese Shunga is still increasing. They are one of the most sought after erotic art images of today and now they have finally reached the ‘high Art’ status as well. The Kunsthal in Rotterdam has the biggest exhibit ever created of Shunga art. The exhibit is called ‘Desire of Spring, Erotic Fantasies in Edo Japan’. The exhibit is from 22 januari to 17 april 2005.
The chronological overview shows us famous artworks from Kitagawa Utamaro, Katsushika Hokusai, Suzuki Harunobu and others. The artworks are from different courses, both museums and private collections. Along with the Shunga there are love letters, erotic novels and kabuki theatre to bring back the taste of the erotic side of Japan from that period.
The Japanese Shunga became populair around 1900 in the western world. At first they had a hidden existence in Europe and we do know from different courses that they were quite popular in ‘artistic’ Paris at that time. Some European artists, Like Vincent van Gogh are know for their love of the Shunga Prints. Van Gogh even used some ideas in his personal work. But a lot of others did collect them as well and some of the visual concepts were transform in to European art style’s like Art Nouveau.
Erotic Shunga images
The erotic Shunga images, well we should call them pornographic, are showing us the world of the Geisha, actors and courtesans in the Edo period. The images are both explicit and humorous. But because of the graphical artistic quality it’s just never embarrassing to watch them. But who knows, maybe one day they will say the same about our porn images. Anyway, if you are in Holland in the next months be sure to check this exhibit. It’s definitely wort the trip to Rotterdam.